comment was made by a former Lutheran (now a Roman Catholic) on a forum. He said that Lutheranism only works if God is an enemy.
I think I know what he meant - he was referring to the notion that the Son propitiates the divine wrath. It is a Biblical theme that cannot be gotten around, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us moderns. But I do think that we cannot and dare not ignore that alongside this teaching, we have some very, very clear statements in our hymns proclaiming us the objects of the Father's love precisely IN the sending of His Son.
Consider a few:
Oh, how great is Your compassion,
Faithful Father, God of grace,
That with all our fallen race
In our depth of degradation
You had mercy so that we
Might be saved eternally.
Your great love for this has striven
That we may, from sin made free,
Live with You eternally.
Your dear Son Himself has given
And extends a gracious call,
To His Supper leads us all. (LSB 559:1,2)
God said to His beloved Son:
"It's time to have compassion.
Then go, bright jewel of My crown,
And bring to all salvation.
From sin and sorrow set them free,
Slay bitter death for them that they
May live with You forever."
The Son obeyed His Father's will,
Was born of Virgin Mother,
And God's good promise to fulfill
He came to be my brother.
His royal pow'r disguised He bore;
A servant's form like mine He wore
To lead the devil captive. (LSB 556:5,6)
Should we fear our God's displeasure,
Who to save
His most precious treasure?
To redeem us He has given
His own Son
From the throne
Of His might in heaven. (LSB 360:3)
O wondrous Love, what have You done?
The Father offers up His Son,
Desiring our salvation.
O Love, how strong You are to save!
You lay the One into the grave
Who built the earth's foundation. (LSB 438:3)
Each day at His good pleasure
God's gracious will is done.
He sent His dearest treasure
In Jesus Christ His Son.
He every gift imparts.
The bread of earth and heaven
Are by His kindness given.
Praise Him with thankful hearts! (LSB 713:4)
The Only Son from heaven,
Foretold by ancient seers,
By God the Father given
In human form appears.
No sphere His light confining,
No star so brightly shining,
As He, our Morning Star. (LSB 402:1)
Almighty Father, in Your Son
You loved us when not yet begun
Was this old earth's foundation. (LSB 395:4)
Thou Christian heart,
Whoe'er thou art,
Be of good cheer and let no sorrow move thee!
For God's own Child,
In mercy mild,
Joins thee to Him;
How greatly God must love thee! (LSB 372:4)
So very many others that one could put forward. But clearly the gift of the Son into our flesh is a sign of such magnitude of the Father's infinite love for the lost race of men that it cannot be gainsaid. If I may, the love of the Father for the entirety of our race is so complete that there is not a single soul who languishes in hell for whom the Father did not send His Son into the flesh, to shed His blood, to impart forgiveness. That's Lutheran teaching too, and the other may not be divorced from it as though what I presented above were somehow less authentically Lutheran. Rather, as we sing, so we believe, so we pray.